Etiquette in Public
yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
01. Always remember that you are representing Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada never compromised the Absolute Truth. However, he was always the perfect gentleman. This is Krsna Consciousness.
02. While dealing with people we have to sacrifice our false ego. We must train ourselves not to be concerned with the subtle interaction of the three modes and material nature.
03. We need to develop single-minded determination to think, speak and act as Srila Prabhupada wants us. This is Krsna consciousness.
04. It is imperative that we remember, by constant practice, that everyone is a part and parcel of Sri Krsna. Our only business is to reawaken their consciousness to spiritual Reality.
05. Always remember that everyone including Sri Krsna is watching you.
06. Sankirtana is the most effective method to awaken Krsna consciousness. A devotee should be very concerned to distribute Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy. This should be the essence of all our dealings.
07. Never lose your temper in public. Humility and tolerance will always win over anger and frustration.
08. Don't eat in public or sit in public places for discussion or relaxation.
Quotes from Srila Prabhupada
Actually, what is our aim? Our aim is to create men of ideal character. And if our men are distributing books on this account, they are doing the best service to society. What we are doing, that they must see-see their sacrifice, what is behind their life, how they are living, how they have sacrificed everything for the welfare of society.
SP letter to Sri Govinda (June 12, 1974)
"That is the standard of living in America. You cannot say, 'No, I shall not lie down in this nice apartment. I shall lie down in the street. I am a sannyasi!' Then nobody will respect me. So we have to use it [cars], but we should not be attached to it. Our attachment should be for Krsna, and for Krsna's service we can accept anything."
Lilamrta V, pp. 66-67
You do not allow anyone to touch your feet-but if they want to insist on touching your feet and there is no other way to avoid it, you can simply remember your predecessor Acaryas and Spiritual Masters and accept them and return namaskar with folded hands. That is the Vaisnava etiquette.
SP letter to Acyutananda (November 11, 1970)
When Srila Prabhupada was questioned by journalists he didn't answer in view of what would be printed, but Prabhupada was speaking to these reporters as spirit souls, reaching out toward Krsna consciousness. Lilamrta V, p. 58
A young man demanded, "Have you realized the soul in the innermost depths of your being?"
The man: "When was the Bhagavad-gita written?"
Prabhupada: "Now you answer my question. What is the process of receiving knowledge from the Bhagavad-gita?"
The man: "No, you tell me when was the Bhagavad-gita written? According to some swami is it was written fifteen hundred years ago, but you said 5000 years."
Srila Prabhupada raised his voice angrily: "I am not your servant. I am Krsna's servant. You must answer my question!"
After the man left, Prabhupada completed his lecture by stating that one must approach Krsna or Krsna's representative with a submissive attitude, by serving and inquiring, not simply asking challenging questions. Lilamrta V, p. 16
Just as the gopis were lusty for Krsna, Arjuna would get angry for Krsna. So it is not bad that a devotee becomes angry for Krsna. Lilamrta V, p. 17